Age: Drink while young and fruity.
Other: Main component of Bardolino and Valpolicella wines.
Corvina (kor-VEE-nuh) is an Italian grape variety from the Veneto region in the northeast of Italy, where it is the main variety used in the production of Bardolino and Valpolicella wines – the other varieties in these wines being Rondinella and Molinara. The higher the proportion of Corvina in the blend (which is allowed up to a maximum of 70%) the better the wine will generally be.
There are considerable variations in style, but the majority of these wines are light in body with low tannins and high acidity. They have a cherry-scented aroma, with hints of almond and herbs. The dominant red fruit flavor is that of sour cherry and it can give a slightly bitter finish to the wine, which is very refreshing.
Bardolino is generally a light and simple wine, but Valpolicella is much more interesting, especially those labeled Valpolicella Classico DOC. These wines have a more floral and cherry-scented aroma, with concentrated fruit flavors and a greater complexity.
The vast majority of Bardolino and Valpolicella wines described above are made in the standard way – that is, harvesting of the grapes when ripe, followed by fermentation and maturation. However, a small quantity of much bigger and more complex wines are also made by a technique known as Passito (see an explanation of Passito in the glossary section of the app), where the grapes are semi-dried for several weeks or months after the harvest.
This process greatly concentrates the sugars and flavors of the grapes, which then go through fermentation and maturation to make three wonderful versions of Valpolicella called Amarone, Recioto and Ripasso. For details of these wines, see Corvina (Semi-Dried) in the Powerful style.
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